Dior Makeovers and Blowouts at Chicago History Museum and Waldorf Astoria

What’s a girl’s night look like? Well, it has martinis, makeup,  lots and lots of braiding, and then an opportunity to look at pretty dresses and take selfies. Dior and Medici Museums delivered for us Chicago city girls this past Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

There wasn’t wardrobe changes, but there were location changes. This two-part event began  at the Chicago History Museum (5:30-7pm), where the city’s top fashion bloggers – Hasty Book ListThe Petite DiariesStile.Foto.Cibo., and The Color Palette included lead scavenger hunts of Mainbocher, “America’s First Couturier,” a twentieth-century tastemaker who dressed royalty and celebrities, inspired Dior’s “new look”—and put the chic in Chicago.

“Showcasing a Chicago designer who was so influential to fashion as a whole was a great way to get to know other Chicago fashion bloggers and enjoy a Ketel One cocktail,” said Chicago blogger, Danni Levine-Moore of Stile.Foto.Cibo.

If you don’t know, now you know that he made the strapless dress you’re favorite staple. You can learn all about his fascinating life, view his designs and even design your own dress (on a mannequin) in under 5 minutes at the  Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier exhibit, which will be on display at the Chicago History Museum until August 20, 2017.

After filling out a scavenger hunt card, designing our own dress, and making new friends, we were ready for a location change. A mile away, this Chicago girl’s night took us to the Waldorf Astoria where delicious Ketel One martinis and vodka lemonades were waiting for us along with, because the event was so well spaced out, felt like our own Dior make-up artist and hair stylist.

We mingled at Waldorf Astoria’s new concept Petit Margeaux, the brainchild of celebrity chef Michael Mina. This fashion-forward hotel, with its Dior-inspired tiled lobby floor and Chanel-influenced chandeliers, was the perfect backdrop for our selfie’s.

After the all-inclusive evening, we made a few friends and stopped over for (thin crust) pizza across the street. Not bad for a Tuesday night.




There is Lower Cost Transportation Options Than Rideshare for a Night Out

Planning a night out can be the worst. Everyone shows up at different times and wants to try out a dance bar or a Tiki bar or do a taco crawl. The more people involved – the more opinions. And since a night out in Chicago usually involves a few rounds of drinks, finding a designated driver or making sure all your girlfriends get home okay can add more stress. Of course, the go-to is to open up your favorite rideshare app, but there’s a much better option for a group in Chicago!

Better Than Rideshare:

Reserving a party bus or limousine for your next night out not only ensures a safe ride for everybody involved, but it also adds a layer of convenience that can’t be replicated by a taxi or Uber. You’ve reserved a block of time, so you’re able to visit multiple destinations through out the night instead of sticking to one or two within walking distance. You’ll be able to enjoy features such as spacious cabins for easy socialization through the night, cup holders for your beverages, sophisticated hardwood flooring and lighting, television panels with DVD players, stereos with the ability to stream through auxiliary ports, and more.

Professional chauffeurs have the knowledge needed to get you where you need to be efficiently and safely. They’ve also had tons of experience taking groups to local hot spots, so they can offer up suggestions if you’re unsure of where to head to next. It’s like having your own personal concierge and night club on the road!


While most groups assume that a Chicago Party Bus is too expensive considering the sophistication, when you divide the overall cost evenly among every one involved, it’s comparable to a rideshare service or taxi trip with a lot more to look forward to. You can save even more money by avoiding high traffic months like wedding and prom season, and the weekend if possible. With a bit of preparation beforehand, you can make sure your next get together is fun, safe and affordable!

This is a sponsored post.

About the Author: Alan James is a local travel writer who specializes in entertainment topics. They hope to provide a helpful voice for those looking to elevate their leisure time.


Colombian Food in Chicago: Epic Margaritas and Dance Floor

I was in love with this Colombian restaurant from the moment I saw walls made out of pennies and men with margaritas. There are three things every Chicago city girl wants when she goes out on the weekend.

The first is good drinks. Like a martini or a margarita. We like them refreshing as we like them fruity as we like them picturesque.

The second thing is ambiance. We like a cool sign, different decor. Something to text our tinder boys about or at least we do it for the gram.

The last is a dance floor. I get that we are sophisticated, but we’re also fun. And there’s nothing more fun than dancing the tango.

Pueblito Viejo is an authentic Colombian restaurant with international music, a full-service bar, and live entertainment. And here you have all three elements to make one epic girls night. And I’m not just imaging this girls night. I saw it happen before my very eyes.

The woman next to us leaned over and asked us if we were on our first date.

My friend and I met her whole group of about 15 women. She was part of a group of mothers raising interracial children.

It was mom’s night out, and that met a couple rounds of margaritas. My friend and I were in. We started off with a martini – the bartender makes a fabulous French 75 and some apps. Here you won’t find salsa and chip or tacos, but what you do find are mouth watering gordita’s and empanadas.

There are so many good dishes to choose from on the menu. It is filled with traditional dishes, using high-quality, locally sourced products. Classics include Bandejas, seasoned skirt steak served with red beans, rice, fried pork rinds, sweet plantains, egg, and arepa; Churrascos, flame grilled outside skirt steak, with fried sweet plantains, cassava, salted boiled potatoes and chimichurri; and Sanchochos, rich beef rib stew with potatoes, cassava, green plantains, and corn.

After some light bites, we went big and had the most amazing steak on the menu – Churrasco Pueblito Viejo. This steak came out on a huge wood tray plated with fried sweet plantains, cassava, salted boiled potatoes, and chimichurri. We couldn’t even finish half of it – so if you order this, I suggest sharing it.

Then we couldn’t turn down one of the most classic margaritas on the menu, which came with an upside down beer poured halfway into it. It was epic to hold and even more fun to drink in between runs to the dance floor.

Pueblito Viejo is a family-run and operated Colombian restaurant, envisioned by owner Gonzalo Rodriguez. The first location was introduced in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood in 1994, and its success prompted the opening of the second location, in Miami’s Westchester neighborhood nine years later.

From the moment you enter, all of your senses come to life with the unique decor and antiques, folkloric Colombian music that will have you on your feet dancing. Their live show, Trovadores, is a unique and immersive comedic experience that involves audience members. You can experience Trovadores Thursday through Saturday night at various times throughout the evening.


Rest and Relaxation at the Palmer House

My friend is a workaholic so she decided to book a room at the Palmer House and bring me along for a girl’s weekend.

We spent Sunday night for Memorial Day weekend in a queen sized room.

There was no view. We had a full load’s worth of towels from one night. And for once, we drank more water than alcohol.

This is my second staycation of my life. It’s a recent trend that I haven’t really explored because I love traveling.

But, there are so many parts of Chicago to explore that staying in a different part of town can seriously feel like you are in a different part of the world.

Transit to the Palmer House: Taxis v. Uber

My friend and I both live in the northside of Chicago. We could easily take the CTA redline downtown, but she said we should take an Uber. Uber’s were surge pricing, so we grabbed a taxi—big mistake.

This taxi driver was nice at first. He called us models and played Beyonce. But, then my friend got on the phone and the taxi driver asked me to take off my sunglasses so that he could see my eyes. I looked down and started playing Views. 

Shortly after his wife called and he put their conversation (in another language) on Bluetooth.

We finally got to the Palmer House, and I jumped out of the taxi. And taxi drivers wonder why we take Uber’s.

Which way to the Steam Room?

The Palmer House is gorgeous. It’s located right off State Street on Monroe.  It’s ornate and has so many passageways, stairways and oddly enough, not enough elevators. We check-in and immediately wanted to do what we came here to do – get a steam and go for a swim.

They have an entire spa on the fifth floor, but we opted for a steam and a few minutes in the Jacuzzi.

I recently joined LA Fitness and have become obsessed with their sauna, but it was nice to be in an actual steam room. It helps you calm down and breathe and not become overwhelmed by your environment.

Becuase the steam room literally makes you feels like you are suffocating.  I had to leave the room twice – but once I started focusing and breathing, I calmed down. If you are feeling stressed – go to the steam room.

It’s Just You and Me (and the rest of the world):

After the dew collected on our skin, it was time for the Jacuzzi.

We realized everyone and all of their children were in the pool. I literally felt like I was at a daycare. So we climbed up the stairs to the more secluded Jacuzzi.

We got in and started chatting. My friend showed me that a Jacuzzi is supposed to be a massage.

We sat back and let the bubbles massage us. I’ve seriously been Jacuzing wrong my whole life.

Steamimg_6319, Jacuzzi, Beautify:

After a little pampering, we decided to grab our third towel of the day and go back upstairs for some Kesha.

The best past of a girl’s weekend is getting ready. My friend loves hair and makeup, so she helped me contour my face. We used Fiona Stiles powder and purple mascara, and then a travel kit from Ulta with eyeshadow and blush.  And yes, it does take 45 minutes to get all dressed up.

 Nando’s Chicken:

My friend grew up in the UK so I surprised her and took her to Nando’s Chicken. Yes, it’s got a casual vibe, but the chicken is so good.

We ate chicken and talked about our work life. As two single girls, it was nice that girl’s weekend didn’t turn into a diatribe about men but more about talking about our goals and dreams and our next career steps – you know, productive things.





Dancing on Hubbard Street:

The best part of staying downtown is walking across the bridge and seeing the Chicago River and all of the beautiful buildings surrounding it at night. It’s sights like this where I am still amazed that I live in such a beautiful city.

We went to Hubbard Street – a spot in Chicago known for its night life. We started the night at Rockit Bar, where I met a girl who is 6’2″ sans heels. We had to take a picture.

We got back to the dance floor and security came beside us.

“What’s he doing?” I asked my friend.

“He’s escorting us.”

After the bar got too techno, we went to Mercer. Mercer always has good music – but not a lot of people. We formed a girl group and started getting low to Jay-Z with more UK girls.

We were going to meet up with a guy, and ended up at the Bottled Blonde, which is on Wells and Illinois. I’ve never been there, but it is pretty amazing.

The drinks are good, the music is on point, and there are people – lots and lots of people. We danced with an Indian visiting from Atlanta.

A guy came up to our table and complimented us for being the most diverse group in the club.

After a few throwbacks (hey, R. Kelly), we walked the mile back to our hotel and like a true girl, spent the rest of the night trying to get feeling back in my toes after five hours in four-inch heels.

Hollywood Theme:

The Palmer Hotel is Hollywood themed. It has pictures of movie star classics on the wall, and yes, you do feel like a movie star just walking into their lobby.

My friend saw a picture on the wall and she was intrigued. She went online immediately and looked up her name from the picture. It was Dorothy Dandridge.

Dorothy Dandridge is like Kerry Washington. She is stunning.

Dorothy Dandridge was part of the Dandridge sisters, but like Beyonce, she went solo and then was cast in a movie that made her a sensation. She was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Carmen Jones (an adaption of the opera, Carmen). Gace Kelly won the award, but she was still an overnight sensation.

She became over $100,000 in debt from bad management (p.s. never date your manager). She was going to make a club appearance when they found her dead at 42 in September 1965. It was reported that she didn’t even have $2 in her bank account.  A tragic life; a Hollywood life.

You can read more about her life here.

Amenities of Life:

We woke up the next morning and jumped on the bed. Yes, that’s what you should do. It makes you feel like a rockstar. My friend did a four-mile run and then we did a repeat of last nightimg_6383 – steam, Jacuzzi, beautify. We met a .mother and daughter from Minneapolis. Pro tip – Minneapolis is one of the most healthiest cities in America. I asked her how that is. She said it’s because all of the lakes are free and open to the public.

“And what do you do during winter?” I asked.

“Oh, I go to the gym,” she laughed

All a girl needs is a good steam, some Jacuzzi time, music and makeup, a dance floor, and some Burberry Touch mixed with Victoria Secret’s Heavenly, and some next door chicken from Nando’s, and some Matcha GreenTea Lemonade from Goddess and the Baker. Those are the true amenities of life.

We grabbed breakfast at Goddess and the Baker along with the rest of Chicago  – biscotti and hot chocolate ,please.

I came into this weekend feeling overwhelmed, and now I feel confident and refreshed and most importantly, relaxed.

It’s so nice to meet all of the beautiful and spirited people who live in Chicago and who visit. But, it’s also nice when you get the steam room to yourself and can walk home from the club.

Cheers to girl’s weekends.

For more ideas for girl’s weekends or just a weekend travel, subscribe to Windy City Cosmo here.






Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.